How To Aim A Shotgun – Completed Guides For Beginners

Got a shotgun from the store or received it from a friend, and you want to shoot it perfectly? The first and most important thing is knowing “How to aim a shotgun”.

To avoid frustrations from missing shots, follow our instructions below to find out the best way of aiming a shotgun properly.

How to Aim A Shotgun



When using traditional shotguns for airborne targets such as birds and clays, you should aim by pointing.

Your shotgun will shoot at where you aim if it is mounted and fits correctly, and it would be better if you keep both eyes open. That will help many shooters, but it will only be perfect if you try to practice as much as you can with various distances, speeds, and environments.

Get The Hang of Your Gun’s Rear Sight

Most traditional shotguns used for sporting only offer one front sight in the shape of a bead or a fiber rod. These designs allow your eyes to act in the rear sight of the gun.

It is also possible if you want to add a gunsmith for some certain shotguns. Aiming might become easier, and it is especially helpful for shooting slugs.

Mount The Gun And Confirm Right Stock

To point and aim your shotgun properly, you need to practice the cheek-weld technique. When you raise the shotgun to the shoulder, our recommendation is to try to align the eyes evenly with the ribs and your shotgun’s bread. That cheek welt is the base of sight-alignment.

Given that the key to the success of this type of gun is practice, you can do it at home when it comes to the above technique. A properly fit gun can place the comb below your cheekbone consistently every time, eyes are aligned right behind the rib or rear, and the barrel will not point to the left and right to your eyes.

However, in the case that the shotgun is not well-fit for you, you can use shims to adjust and customize the cast so that your cheek and eyes can line up with the barrel. However, when you do not have available shims, hire a stock fitter to steam and bend the stock for the best-suited. If not, you have to change the gun that is more suitable for you. 

Focus On Your Target

With a traditional shotgun, most of the objects you aim and shoot at will become moving targets such as birds, clay pigeons, or small games. So, focusing on your target is necessary all the time.

Only when in your peripheral vision, you can fully be aware of the barrel, bead, sight, and ramp. Try to focus on the targets that seem like you can count each feather on the birds or each ridge on the clay pigeons.

Then, move your hands gradually and smoothly to your target without any distractions, and break your shot when you’ve gained the correct direction and lead point. If you need a scope, check out best illuminated reticle scope to choose one.

Have Good Training

In fact, using a traditional shotgun to aim and hit moving targets is a skill that can be learned through practice and somehow is an art form.

Although it will take a huge amount of time to get acquainted and learn to the level of knowing, leading each target requires how long, and the exact time that you will break your shot. 

To learn more effectively, you should have an experienced shotgunner or a good teacher to follow your shots. That is because when you are practicing, you may not realize whether you are performing wrong or not.

An instructor can watch and tell you your mistakes, what you should improve, like lifting your head, stopping your gun, shooting behind or ahead of the target, to name a few. You also can avoid frustration with good instructions.

Final Words

These are all our guides on “How to aim a shotgun”. We hope you will have a better understanding of performing the best break and enjoy your training.

Also, remember to store your shotgun safely and keep it out of the reach of children. Thanks for your time!

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